Another request from a Democratic Senator is turned down. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, asked for information about oil companies who are exporting American oil. (268 million barrels of American oil were exported last year.) The Bush administration refused to provide the information. By refusing to answer the Bush administration is blocking Sen. Wyden from pursuing his oversight function. Meanwhile the Republicans on the committee refuse to ask for such information.
Since the Republicans took control of the Congress the Bush Administration has refused to answer any requests for information of any kind from any Democratic members of Congress, while Congressional Republicans assist in the cover-ups.
Also, see Rep. Henry Waxman’s Washington Post op-ed on the subject, Free Pass From Congress:
“During the Clinton administration, Congress spent millions of tax dollars probing alleged White House wrongdoing. There was no accusation too minor to explore, no demand on the administration too intrusive to make.”
Ah, but times have changed,
“Republican Rep. Ray LaHood aptly characterized recent congressional oversight of the administration: “Our party controls the levers of government. We’re not about to go out and look beneath a bunch of rocks to try to cause heartburn.”
Republican leaders in Congress have refused to investigate who exposed covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, whose identity was leaked after her husband, Joe Wilson, challenged the administration’s claims that Iraq sought nuclear weapons. They have held virtually no public hearings on the hundreds of misleading claims made by administration officials about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaeda.
They have failed to probe allegations that administration officials misled Congress about the costs of the Medicare prescription drug bill. And they have ignored the ethical lapses of administration officials, such as the senior Medicare official who negotiated future employment representing drug companies while drafting the prescription drug bill.
The House is even refusing to investigate the horrific Iraq prison abuses. One Republican chairman argued, “America’s reputation has been dealt a serious blow around the world by the actions of a select few. The last thing our nation needs now is for others to enflame this hatred by providing fodder and sound bites for our enemies.”
Compare the following: Republicans in the House took more than 140 hours of testimony to investigate whether the Clinton White House misused its holiday card database but less than five hours of testimony regarding how the Bush administration treated Iraqi detainees.”
Perhaps the refusal of the Republican Congress to provide any oversight of or demand any accountability from the government should be an issue in next year’s elections. I can see the ads now. “Nine billion dollars disappeared from Iraq. Republican Congressman (Senator) XX not only refused to ask where it went, but helped block efforts to find out!”